Blog Post 4: Executing, Monitoring and Controlling

This week I look analyze the third step of Project Management (PM) from an Instructional Systems Design (ISD) perspective outlined by Cox (2009): Executing, Monitoring and Controlling a project.

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons.

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons.

Executing the Project

Executing the plan is the step in PM wherein the work outlined in the project plan is carried out (Cox, 2009). Monitoring and controlling also fall under project execution. The activities involved in execution are: performing quality assurance (ensuring quality standards), acquiring the project team (may be internal or external; assigning responsibilities), developing the project team (increasing team and project effectiveness), distributing project information (communicating relevant information to stakeholders), managing stakeholder expectations (stakeholders are updated to ensure clarity in terms of successes and risks) and conducting procurements (finding and selecting outside sellers) (Cox, 2009).

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons.

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons.

Monitoring and Controlling the Project

Furthermore, within the scope of monitoring and controlling the project is included: the performance of integrated change control (formally managing changes to the project), scope verification (acknowledging project deliverables), controlling scope (monitoring the project and scope so that the scope baseline is kept up-to-date), controlling schedule (monitoring the project so that the schedule reflects any changes made), controlling cost (updating the budget and analyzing the use of project funds), controlling quality (measures which eliminate poor quality processes/manage product quality), reporting performance (periodically analyzing the performance measured against the baseline and communicating this to the relevant stakeholders), monitoring and controlling risk (the process of implementing risk management) and administering procurements (the process of ensuring that contracted work is carried out as agreed upon) (Cox, 2009). Succinctly put, project monitoring and controlling gives understanding about the progress of a project and includes successful communication of the project’s status (R., 2013).

 

Image Credit: pixabay public domain.

Image Credit: pixabay public domain.

Change and Quality Management

Change management, through performing integrated change control, involves managing changes by either accepting or rejecting approved changes (Cox, 2009). Change request forms and a change log are necessary components for the project team to stay organized. Basically, change management is the formal process of updating of the project’s scope, deliverables, schedule, cost, etc., which is detailed in the change management plan. Tracking changes made over the lifecycle of the project aids in keeping all stakeholders up-to-date with realistic expectations (managing stakeholder expectations). Quality control is an activity which is performed throughout the whole project and not only identifies poor processes and product quality, but also leads to the correction of said quality problems (Cox, 2009).

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Earned Value Management (EVM)

 One major feature of PM monitoring and controlling that was introduced this unit was Earned Value Management (EVM), which tracks the progress of the entire project and aids in forecasting through the integration of scope, schedule and cost (Earned Value Management – EVM, 2014). This is done through calculating the Planned Value (PV), Actual Cost (AC) and Earned Value (EV) (the percentage of work completed) (Earned Value Management – EVM, 2014). Overall, one can look at monitoring and controlling a project as being composed of four processes: 1) collecting performance information (through pulse meetings, variance reports and program reviews), 2) analysis of performance to determine change needed (through technical reviews, project forecasting and problem solving), 3) reporting project performance (through PM information system, management reviews and dashboards) and 4) project management change (through the use of the change management log) (Project Management Monitoring and Controlling Tools & Techniques, 2012). For a tutorial on EVM, click here.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Reflections

Controlling and monitoring in PM seems synonymous with Evaluating in Instructional Systems Design (ISD) because both are processes that aim to increase the quality of the project/instruction, are carried out over the lifecycle of the project and interact with every process within their respective domains (R., 2013; Hodell, 2011).  By not effectively managing change or risk, a project is running the risk of not meeting the expected goals; even if the other phases in PM are well planned and executed, if the project is not properly monitored and controlled, all of the effort to-date could amount to nothing. Similarly, if evaluation is not performed methodically throughout the ISD process, the end-result may not meet expectations in the real-world environment.

For my project, I want to focus on quality management through the initial content with the building of the e-learning course, the review of content by stakeholders (Head of the department, monk, etc.) and adjustments based on recommendations. In addition to a quality assurance plan, Symons (2013) suggests five steps for quality management, steps 4 and 5 are to: “Measure well, and measure often” and to “Review constantly and act on outcomes” (para. 5-6). Assessing quality should be ongoing throughout the creation of the material to ensure the objectives match the learning activities, and that the learning activities support constructivist learning. Change management will be reflected through the formation of the change management log, updating of the project schedule, scope and cost, which will be reflected in the EVM.

 

References

 Cox, D.M.T. (2009). Project management skills for instructional designers: A practical guide. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc.

Earned Value Management – EVM. (2014). TutorialsPoint. Retrieved fromhttp://www.tutorialspoint.com/earn_value_management/

Hodell, C. (2011). Isd from the ground up: A no-nonsense approach to instructional design (3rd ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: ASTD Press.

Project Management Monitoring and Controlling Tools & Techniques. (2012). Project Management Guru. Retrieved from http://www.projectmanagementguru.com/controlling.html

R., S. (2013). Integrating project monitoring and control with other processes. Retrieved fromhttp://www.brighthubpm.com/monitoring-projects/40904-how-project-monitoring-and-controlling-integrates-with-other-processes/

Symons, M. (2013). Five steps to quality management of your project. The Project Management Hut. Retrieved fromhttp://www.pmhut.com/five-steps-to-quality-management-of-your-project

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